Friday, February 03, 2006

California High Desert

Photo by Ellen Bloom - Joshua Tree, 2004
This weekend I'm really looking forward to our mini-trip to Joshua Tree, CA. We're leaving tonight (Friday) after work. We like to stay in Yucca Valley 'cause it's centrally located. One of the nicer motels is the Oasis of Eden. They have theme rooms. We don't usually pay the premium for the hot-tub in the Jungle Suite or the extra cash to lose ourselves in the Bermuda Triangle Suite. Their plain and simple utility rooms are fancy enough for us!
Over the past 16 years, we've spent lots of time in the tri-city area (Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree and Twenty-nine Palms). One of our favorite places is Pioneertown. It was built as a movie and TV location by Gene Autry and Roy Rogers in the late 1940's and it's still maintained as a western town today. Most of the buildings are actual residences. There's a motel, bowling alley, post office, restaurant and bar. The restaurant and bar, Pappy and Harriet's Pioneertown Palace, is definitely a destination. New owners purchased the place from Pappy and Harriet and have kept the ambiance and food the same, but upped the quality of the entertainment. Many live bands from Los Angeles, San Diego, etc. perform there. This weekend, one of our favorite L.A. bands, I See Hawks in L.A. will be performing. There are lots of musicians who have homes in the high desert. Sometimes they drop into Pappy and Harriet's and jam with the performing band. I've seen Eric Burdon (formerly of the Animals), Dick Dale (King of the Surf Guitar), singer, songwriter Victoria Williams, various other roots musicians like John "Juke" Logan, Dusty Wakeman and more.
Stuff for Sale at the Swap Meet
During the day in the desert, we usually stop by the swap meet at the Yucca Drive-in on Old Woman Springs Road and cruise thru some thrift shops. You never know what might be lurking there....old knitting needles, vintage crochet magazines, etc. We also like to stop off at the Joshua Tree National Park. It's one of the most austerely beautiful places in the Southern California area. I definitely recommend that you visit!
If you're staying in L.A., check out the New Year celebrations in Chinatown! Have a marvelous weekend eveyone!

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